January 1st is only the beginning of a new year. For only some of the world. There are many dates throughout the calendar that are other regional and cultural new years.
I wasn’t ready to start a new season on January 1st. It just wasn’t the right time for me. In fact, it usually never is. Most Januarys fly by without me ever giving in to the hype. Maybe I will buy a new planner week two of the month when they go 50% off like my friend and mentor Patty says to. But otherwise, it is merely the month following a busier month.
A year is just a year. It does not necessarily mean that it is a change of season for you. Your next season may begin in mid-April. Or the end of July. Why does January get all of the attention?
One is the marketing industry. You know it’s a great marketing strategy. But throughout decades I think we are all coming to the conclusion that resolutions don’t sustain us.
I liken it to being told that I needed to drink a big glass of milk with every meal only to find out that dairy affects my sinuses and digestive health more than anyone knew. Mom made us drink milk with everything. Spaghetti, tacos, pork chops, goulash (I throw up a little in my mouth just typing the word), and even pizza, much to the dismay of my husband who is a New Yorker.
I currently don’t drink much milk as I’ve adjusted my taste to that of Oatly which is a nutty and delicious oat milk fave of mine. And I definitely don’t drink it with pizza, for which I have repented to the God Who created the slice. However, I can say for sure that my bones are big and strong, even causing the ankle bracelet Aunt Bonnie bought me for Christmas one year to have to be worn on my wrist. And at 5’5 I wear a size ten shoe. Bless it. Thanks Mom. Thanks dairy farmers and the USDA food pyramid of the 80s.
This said, and my rant being done with, resolutions are in the past. Today’s generations don’t even believe in them even if they subscribe to the new programs and say they will finish this time. The belief is internal with rarely a sustainable external application.
Number two on my list for reasons that January garners so much attention for fresh starts, is that we as humans love anything that brings unity, though we seem to be arguing all of the time. It’s just like the Christmas season, or the Superbowl, or weddings. Deep inside we love the coming together for like-hearted reasons, to have parties and celebrate, to find meaning in something that strangers across the room are also moved by.
The new year is no different. In America, everyone knows about it. We are all thinking about it to some degree and moving towards it. You can have conversations with people you’ve never met in line at the store and they know just what you’re saying.
Now that we have this settled to some degree, let’s look at why it really doesn’t matter as much as people think it should. Why can we choose to look at it, see it, know about it, and still not choose it? Why are we allowed to skip the idea of 1/1 and not feel shame about not leveling up with everyone else and feeling the disappointment of non-achievement with them 25-45 days from then?
You own your seasons.
No one, including the businesses that put out the most exquisite and beautiful planners starting with 1/1, can tell you when your new season starts. I am definitely a proponent of those planners, but you have the choice to not let those voices tell you in your head that 1/1 has any power over you.
The power is in your focus. It is in your story of intention. It is in what you know in your heart. No one should hold that power but you.
Our seasons change for two reasons- we cause them to change or they change without our voluntary intention. So either we bring the shift or life does. Both are always going to happen but awareness is key.
Here are two things to ask yourself to find out when your new season is upon you:
Are you feeling perpetually dissatisfied?
Dissatisfaction is really a wonderful thing. It is what spurs creativity and undergirds new thinking. It is the voice telling you something needs to change. A time to meditate on who you want to become in order to do the things you hope to do and live in the purpose you hope for. You may feel sparks inside that are indicating that you are transforming and your awareness of this will help you set intentions to actualize it.
I am currently in a season of dissatifaction. Severely I would even say. I want things to be different. For me and my body, spirit, and mind; for my marriage, kids, and finances. The physical feeling I have associated with this dissatisfaction is a driver at times. And in other moments the only reminder I have to keep me pushing towards change is a note I left myself on my desk. Recognizing this was a major part of setting my intention forwards and choosing to leave the past season behind. To see the value in what it held but then cutting off the dead branches and pruning what no longer serves to bear good fruit, taking that fruit and letting the seeds grow into new things in the coming season.
Are the people and situations around you that mean the most shifting without your help in doing so?
Maybe as a parent your children are moving into new season requiring that you recognize the end of a season and evaluate what the new one will ask of you. Or maybe at work you can see things shifting and times changing, meaning that it is wise of you to see what’s happening instead of being behind the ball and getting pushed out because you didn’t see it coming. Allow yourself to take moments of the direction and force of the wind and focus your vision on the horizon at times. It will allow you to navigate the waters more easily when the winds change are upon you.
I remember once waking up in the night when my kids were 5, 7, and 10. For a moment I was sure that something was wrong or someone needed something. But everyone was sound asleep. I didn’t know why I woke up. As I lay there wondering, I realized that I woke up every night whether someone else was up or not. I had lived for so many years waking up to feed or change a baby or tend to a nightmare that my body and my mind were conditioned to it. I was the only person who was still operating in a season that had passed for everyone else. I thought to myself, “Well, that is the dumbest thing ever. I’m done.” As great as it was to start telling myself I didn’t need to wake up anymore, the best thing that came from it was my realization that season shift and winds change and we may not always be aware or looking for it. I now understood that it was my responsibility to see the seasons changing ahead of time and to sometime be responsible for changing the season myself.
Ponder the limitations of believing that a season is associated with a date on the calendar or with someone else’s agenda and then have a conversation with your True Self:
*How do you let yourself be led by these external things?
*Write down what you are dissatisfied with. Allow your imagination to take you out of it and see yourself in a not so distant or impossible place that you will end up at.
*Write down what things will be coming to an end soon that you are not ending on your own.
*Daydream a little and see how you can use these changes to your benefit.
*If you feel uneasy about the coming shifts do a little fear setting, allowing yourself to think of the worst case scenario and then working your way through the process. Most often the worst case is not going to occur, but allowing your brain to have the full thought process and from there letting it leave your mind knowing it received the acknowledgement it deserved, is a great way to face the turning of the winds with courage and insight. If you are a thinker then this is key to moving the fear out of your head, putting it on paper and being prepared for what will probably not come, but ‘what if?’, then setting you free to enjoy the cooler winds in your hair.
Define- What are the worst things that could happen?
Prevent- What could I do to prevent damage if they do occur?
Repair- If scenario happens what can you do to repair things?
Reflect- What might be the benefits of attempted or partial success in the midst of change?
If you don’t feel you have the power to own your story and your seasons, then that is what Sterling and Stone is here for. To remind you to pull the grace tickets out of your back pocket and to help you visualize your name in the 'Written by' space on the front of your book.
Your life is a great story. The power of the pen is in your hands.